April 25th, 2023
Posted by: teamta
Technological advancements have enabled the digital transformation of product design and development processes. For instance, computer-aided design (CAD) paved the way for converting manual product designs into digital ones and web conference tools facilitated real-time, cloud-based collaboration between product designers. The next paradigm shift in the design process will be powered by Mixed Reality (MR).
While virtual reality (VR) denotes total immersion in a digital environment and augmented reality (AR) describes experiences where the real world is enhanced with digital elements, mixed reality (MR) indicates a blending of the real world and virtual environments. MR is transforming how products are designed, developed, and manufactured by speeding up design processes, reducing development costs, and allowing for more in-depth product testing before production. Mixed reality is perhaps the part of the extended reality (XR) environment that is currently drawing the least media attention since it is based on a variety of advanced features and tools that are not yet as widely available to consumers as VR or AR.
The significance of mixed reality services in product design and development can be illustrated by Formation, an Atlanta-based design firm who were asked to redesign an airplane interior. Since the construction of a full-scale model of a fuselage for testing would cost a fortune, the in-house designers combined a plywood model that included seats with an overlaid virtual environment through VR headsets. This MR setup enabled them with the actual sense of the cabin space to test and redesign the interior to a full-scale design model.
In this article let us explore the five benefits of using mixed reality for product design and development.
- Agile product design and accelerated delivery
Agile design practices are taken to a whole new level with the help of mixed-reality technology. Instead of building numerous physical prototypes, iterative testing of multiple products can be done in an MR environment, which speeds up the design process. The time taken to design and develop the product is also accelerated improving productivity and efficiency. MR applications may prove promising for the successful transaction of designs for prefabrication, site deployment, and the planning and execution of maintenance operations. It also enhances the collaborative approach to innovation by enabling smooth communication and involvement of various departments in the design stage. In addition, MR-powered 3D prototypes can go through a dozen design iterations in the time it takes to make a single prototype using the traditional method.
- Early visualization and reduced investment costs
Mixed reality development solutions can be used to streamline the design processes in an enterprise. It allows high-quality product visualization within the actual context of use to reap the tangible benefits of augmented reality along with a clear assessment of concept alternatives. Detailed visualization at high fidelity early in the design process helps to derive valuable insights and dramatically reduce investment costs. Since little or no physical materials are needed for the prototyping and test iterations MR investment in designing is profitable to the company. A client’s investment in physical prototyping isn’t even a question until concepts are virtually polished and ideas are iteratively re-calibrated toward a workable prototype that has been virtually tested.
- Superior performance and contextualized experimentation
Digital prototyping methods have been around for quite some time, but they could only produce two-dimensional renderings of designs that were disconnected from the real-world contexts in which they would be used. It is exceedingly difficult, for designers to predict how a design will behave in the actual world before building a physical prototype unless a design can be rendered and actively experimented with at scale. Mixed Reality solutions, however, essentially solve this constraint by allowing designs to be placed into the real world where designers can experiment with them at scale. For instance, during the design of a product for loss prevention in the retail industry, hologram models of five-foot-tall devices are dropped at a retail store for analysis. High performance can be ensured by selecting the right approach while observing and understanding the presence of each concept in the context of the space and analyzing the activity surrounding it.
- Enables collaboration across geographies and better development processes
A broad range of stakeholders and investors are enabled to review product design in progress and virtual assets in a more natural way than ever before. For instance, developers can examine the entire mechanical assembly from the outside and the inside for the retail device. We could place our heads inside the holographic model and view every interior feature as it would have appeared after being fully built, thanks to mixed reality technology.
Efficiency in the development process can be heightened when paired with other prototyping methods and tools at different times. A broad range of options can be explored in the early stages of design when tools like 3D printing and other AR virtual assets are used. With the mixed reality prototype, concepts are being tested with experts, and valuable insights are gained far earlier than with traditional methods.
- Interactive prototyping beyond the screen
One of the greatest benefits of using mixed reality services is the enablement of physical interactions that involve all our senses in a more natural, effective, and engaging way. The advancements we’re witnessing in sensor technologies, optics, spatial audio, and machine learning will soon lead to more creative solutions that will make interacting with information and objects much more natural, straightforward, and intuitive.
On a final note,
Designers can improve product design processes and generate better product outcomes by reducing costs and increasing the speed of product development by using virtual reality, augmented reality, or mixed reality tools. MR applications provide designers with the new creative freedom to challenge the rules of physics with limitless potential and have a completely new perspective on the world. Travancore Analytics is your one-stop partner if you’re ready to experience the difference that mixed reality applications can make to your product design and development. At TA, we have more than 15 years of professional expertise in working with companies of all sizes to effectively launch new products.